Eric Paul Justin,MD,MPH,MBA | 16 July 2020

This Spring and Summer our backyard has become a daily oasis for me. Between the rich plant life and the abundant animal life in and around ‘our’ little lake there are few times one cannot be entertained by one or more creatures. Often we just hear the bird songs high in the trees. Such sweet music. Occasionally a bush will start wiggling which is often a tell-tale sign there is a nesting pair of small birds hidden away.

I have learned more about patience while enjoying the backyard. One has to learn to wait quietly for the animal life to present. Along the way a certain tranquility slowly appears. At first it is easy to mistake for simple physical stillness. Soon after one realizes the thoughts of today’s world have receded a small bit. Often I reflect on the day’s events and ‘news’. Quickly, nature and the beauty that God provides draws me back. Back to tranquility.

And once again I am at peace. My hope for you is that same peacefulness. Whether in your backyard, a garden, out on a walk, or somewhere else indoors or out in nature. How precious such experiences have become. How essential too.

The following two images, one a graph, the other a map, show what we are up against. As a community and within our respective states and as a nation we are facing immense challenges. No easy answers exist. Each of us has our share to contribute toward the common good including our nation’s public health. My previous writings have provided the precautions to take. We still need to take those same precautions. And somehow we all need to find that beauty and peacefulness that God provides. It is and will be the foundation upon which we survive and hopefully thrive.

The map below shows many states in the United States to be ‘red’ for rising numbers of Covid-19 cases (as of July 15, 2020). Many of these states are ‘blinking red’ as they have filled or nearly filled intensive care units and even general wards for less ill Covid-19 patients. The grey states are ‘stable’. And green states are falling in numbers. Note however that Arizona, while a ‘falling’ state, still has a critically high number of severe existing cases as well as significant numbers of new cases. Several ‘gray’ states are still showing very high numbers of hospitalized patients and new cases too.

The graph below shows, as of July 15, 2020, the total deaths and confirmed cases due to the Covid-19 virus. The number of deaths is, sadly, very likely underestimated. Also disturbing is that in most states the percent of positive tests for the virus is reported to be much higher than the desired level.

Note: the map and the graph were sourced from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security/School of Public Health.

May God Bless you and yours with Peace and Tranquility as well as good health.

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